IMDA to help Singapore thrive in the digital age

The statutory board will do so through industry development, regulation and community outreach and engagement.

By Nurdianah Md Nur
Oct. 3, 2016

Minister Yaacob and CEO of IMDA, Gabriel Lim, unveiling the new IMDA logo
Minister Yaacob and CEO of IMDA, Gabriel Lim, unveiling the new IMDA logo. Credit: IMDA

Singapore has launched the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) in a bid to empower businesses, workers and communities to seize opportunities in a digital future.

"IMDA's mission is to lead Singapore forward into a digital future, where Infocomm media (ICM) convergence and technological change will change the way we live, work and play," said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, at the launch of IMDA on 30 September 2016.

"[The statutory board] will achieve its mission by focusing on three broad strategies. Firstly, by developing a strong ICM sector to power and transform the economy; secondly, by building an environment of trust; and third, by ensuring that every Singaporean benefits from convergence and technological progress," he explained.

Developing a strong ICM sector
A strong ICM ecosystem with skilled talent and vibrant businesses is important for Singapore to thrive in the digital economy, asserted Dr Yaacob. As such, IMDA will help Singaporeans acquire ICM skills regardless of their career stage through the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA). Almost 1,000 professionals have signed up for TeSA since its launch three months ago, according to the Minister. 

The agency will also help businesses better leverage ICM. An example is the Smart Facility Management (Smart FM) initiative, which aims to address manpower shortage in the cleaning, security guarding, landscaping and facilities maintenance sectors by using smart technologies such as analytics, sensors, predictive maintenance, and autonomous systems.

IMDA has partnered Starmall for a Smart FM pilot at Jurong Point, and is hoping to do the same with AsiaMalls Management, said Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Development) of IMDA, at a media briefing on 29 September 2016. The pilot will see the use of video analytics such as license plate recognition for car park or traffic management around Jurong Point, and queue counting module that warns when queues are too long. The mall will also be trialling the use of autonomous cleaning robots during non-peak hours and night shift cleaning.

IMDA expects Smart FM to improve the efficiency of the facility management sector by more than 15 percent over the next five years.

Besides that, IMDA is working with SPRING and CapitaLand Mall Trust Management Limited on in-mall distribution trials that aim to improve the delivery and logistics processing for shopping malls. So far, the trials saw shorter waiting time at unloading bay - it now takes only 7 minutes, from the previous 24 minutes, for delivery trucks to stop, unload and leave, said Khoong. He added that in the long run, in-mall distribution will help increase truck utilisation by 25 percent, and result in S$65 million net manpower savings annually. 

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